© 2012 jen

Fit-tastic: The War Is Over

Here’s a quick update on my health and weight:

I have lost another pound. I’m at 209 right now. I seem to be losing about a pound a week and I’m eating awesome food! Last night I had gluten-free pizza and g-f beer and it tasted great.

I used to feel that something was wrong, because I just couldn’t lose weight, because no amount of exercise ever changed anything for me. Guess I was right, something WAS wrong, because now, this is pretty easy.

I’ve been using 3 lb weights in my exercise class, but they feels so light to me now. I need to get some 5 pounders now, because I’m feeling so much stronger.

I’m still running and enjoying it.

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Everyday now I find new things that surprise me- the signs of recovery seem to be everywhere. Yesterday my hair was softer and curlier than it’s been probably since I was a teenager.

When you have Celiac Disease your body isn’t able to absorb all of the mineral and nutrients you eat and now I see how it affects your entire body’s proper functioning.

I talked with my mom yesterday and told her about my Celiac Disease. She was horrified that she hadn’t known, but she was able to fill in a lot of blanks for me. She said that when I turned 12 years old she remembers seeing a pastiness to my skin that worried her. That’s also the first time I really started to have weight problems too. I think this was my first bout with full blown Celiac Disease and that was 29 years ago.

My whole life I’ve been very pale, but by the age of 12 I became pasty white, like you rarely see on most humans. All of my features sort of blended together, there was a thick-doughiness to my skin: I sorta had cheeks and dimples and other defined parts, but now they are popping out of my face in a way they never have before. There is a color to my cheeks- without blush that I’ve NEVER had before. I have such a defined face with more depth than I knew was possible for my face.

Me, with no make-up smile-bombing.

I walk past the mirror and feel startled regularly right now.

Every part of me is smaller: waist, arms, legs, wrists, face, neck, everything. Well, every part except my energy and happiness levels. They were big before and are HUGE now.

I used to be so exhausted at the end of the day that I would barely be able to keep my eyes open and my husband often would have to help me to bed at night. It used to be that 11pm or earlier would hit and I had to go to bed immediately or I’d fall asleep on the couch. Now 11:30 rolls around and I think, “Am I tired? Oh a little, guess I’ll go to bed.” I’m not exhausted like I used to be.

Recently, my feeling is that I’m a warrior who’s been in a battle her whole life and now the war is over. I’ve learned how to survive in a much more brutal world. I’ve had to use such force and strength up to this point to just get through the day and now I get to relax and just be me.

No more exhaustion to the point where I can barely get up off the couch. No more spending the day in bed because I don’t feel well and I can’t put my finger on it. No more feeling overwhelmed by life because I could feel that my body couldn’t take all that much stress- it was already stressed naturally. No more tightness in my guts. I’m light and free in my belly Chakra- which is related to relationships, sexuality and passion for life. This explains something to me too, because the passion I feel each day now is enormous!

I don’t feel oogy anymore. That’s how I described it. I’d say, “I feel really oogy.” It was an all over body feeling of depletion and tightness with some tummy rumblings.

I’m not kidding when I say this, but I cry everyday now. I cry for the good that I feel; I cry that the war is over and I don’t have to fight so hard anymore; I cry for freedom from food; I cry because I feel everything more deeply and sometimes it’s too big to hold inside of myself.

I went to see a dietician earlier this week and one of the things she told me is that because Celiacs have such a problem absorbing nutrients, she’s pretty sure I’m seriously depleted of vitamin D and maybe B too. Most Oregonians are deprived at least a little of vitamin D, because we don’t get enough sun here, but I’m extra depleted.  I’m going to have my vitamin D levels checked, which I apparently have some of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency- sore joints and muscles. I will be put on a therapeutic level of vitamin D and I guess I will feel better? I can’t imagine feeling better than this, but I guess that will be possible.

Then the dietician said something sort of interesting- she told me that because I’m still healing I won’t know the full affects of my recovery for up to about 6 months! It’s been 3 weeks and things are pretty radically different. I can’t wait to see what this full recovery has to offer.

Here’s another thing that I learned from the dietician. I’ve always been someone who could seriously hold my alcohol. I could have 4 beers and not even be drunk- now I know it was because I wasn’t absorbing the alcohol fully. I used to explain this away by saying, “I’m German and Irish, my people have been drinking for centuries.” But no, that’s not it- I was consuming the calories, but not able to fully absorb the liquor.

Now it only takes two glasses of wine and I can feel a headache starting to form, which is another weird thing for me. I think I’ve had maybe 10 headaches in my whole life. My head isn’t affected by anything generally, but now after a second drink I can feel a tightness in my brain, so I drink water and cool my drinking jets, because I’m really listening and hearing my body in a new way.

A few nights ago, one of the ladies in my Fire Starter Session group, named Martha, coined the phrase smile-bomb (when you smile at people in a huge way so that everyone who comes in contact with you feels better- at least for a moment).

Right now, I can’t stop smiling. I want to smile and sing from the rooftops. I’ve been smile-bombing everywhere I go.

I’m like a feel-good infection right now, so look out.
If you see me, I’ll infect you too!

OK, now for the serious part. I’ve recently learned that when samples of people are taken and those people are asked if they have Celiac Disease and then tests are done to see who has it, only about 5% of the people know and have been diagnosed. That means that 95% of the people walking around with Celiac Disease don’t know they have it. See here for details.

In other words, the majority of the people with this disease will be in battle for life and will never know. They will end up with various other illnesses and diseases because their bodies aren’t being nourished properly and are chronically inflamed, like: osteoporosis, diabetes, increased asthma, anxiety, depression, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue, cancer, and so much more. Seriously, the list goes on and on.

But, I won’t be one of those people, because I’m aging backwards right now. I feel better than I did at 20 and I’m 41. I saw a friend this week who I haven’t seen in awhile and she told me I look the same as I did at 20! I don’t know if she was just being nice, but I have to say my skin seems so much more healthy than it’s been since I was a MUCH younger person.

This could be one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Lucky me.

Here’s a video about the process of being tested and other general info.

There are a total of 300 symptoms to Celiac Diseasesee here. If there’s a fraction of a hair’s thought that you could have this- have the celiac panel blood test done- it’s simple. Anyone with a family member who has Celiac Disease, have this blood test done. If you can’t have the blood test done due to lack of insurance, go purely g-free for at least 4 weeks and then slowly reintroduce gluten to see if you feel any differently.

 

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